Originally Posted by N49ATV
GT is 700 more then ST
VT is 1500 more then ST. This is sticker and no bargaining.
The ST50's PQ in Cinema mode and Custom mode is identical to the GT50 (disregarding the GT50's THX modes of course). The THX modes are good and while i like them, they are not worth paying an extra $700 for unless you don't care that much about spending another $700.
The VT50 only has a few additional features over the ST50/GT50 and unless you're a hardcore movie purist and have an extra $1,500 to burn, i can't fathom it being worth that much more over an ST50.
Also read online that the ST this year is a better panel then last years VT. Is that the case?
Where did you read that? I don't know how anyone could post that, especially since the ST60 hasn't been released yet or reviewed yet, but the Panasonic insider that designed these TVs basically said the ST60 is only a slight improvement over the ST50 and PQ-wise isn't worth paying more for. I don't think the new ST60 will outperform a VT50.
Is the THX mode of the GT worth it over the ST?
No. Both ST50 and GT50 can be made to look fantastic in Custom mode using the Pro Settings menu. ISF Calibrators typically use Custom mode, not THX. That's saying something.
Are the blacks noticeably better on the next levels over ST?
Probably, but the improvement is probably very small and probably not worth paying more for.
Sucks the nearest big store I could prob see all side by side and demo is 5hrs away.
The stores typically aren't useful in judging side-by-side picture quality and won't tell you much anyway due to variations in setup and adjustments and sources and lighting etc. Even in a controlled test room with identical sources, all three will look pretty much the same when they're in Cinema or Custom mode, with the VT50 being a teensy bit blacker and darker due to it's darker filter.